Interview with Temujin Hu, author of 'The Rage'


Temujin Hu is a hard-working American living rather like a nomad. At 36 years of age, he's moved about 36 times and at one time or another called "home" California, Texas, Colorado, or five other states as well as Germany, China, and Kuwait. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures. He served over four years in the US Navy in the 90's and recently spent more than six years doing professional security in Los Angeles, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He also ran a small family-owned internet business for a couple years. He’s a Christian who spends a lot of time in the Word, and his interests include mixed martial arts, international relations, and dogs. Hobbies include hiking and shooting guns, but mostly he loves being an American and wants everyone to believe they can climb mountains.
His latest book is the inspirational crime fiction, The Rage.
Visit Temujin on the web at http://www.temujinhu.com.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The idea for The Rage started over ten years ago with a philosophical question that changed over the years as I grew in my Christian faith. At one point it was about why a good man would die for a wicked man, but my life experiences showed me that no one is righteous, so the question became, “When does a wicked man lose all chance at redemption?” I wanted to write about two guys who the reader would identify with and want to root for, but have them descend into truly wicked behavior and then try to redeem them. The idea is to take away the option of not being good enough by pushing the limits of redemption. The emotional struggle of the killers comes from conversations I had with combat vets when I worked security in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those guys have a lot of hurt and many unanswered questions. I’ve always wanted to encourage others, and this book is meant to inspire hope for everyone.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest part was keeping a peaceful spirit. I delved into the thinking of well-meaning people driven to wickedness, and that’s a dark and demonic place. I found myself becoming a dark person, so I had to counter it with positive Christian radio. I had to take the story to that level of evil because there are many people who can relate to the harms of drugs, crime, and self-hate, and I wanted to do the context justice so the reader would feel fully engaged. If a writer is going to take his story to dark places, I recommend having “peace breaks” where they get away from the material, multiple times throughout the day, and get something positive in their heads like music, art, feeling a cool breeze on your skin, the smile of a loved one, or anything that brings you peace.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

After looking at the options, I decided to self-publish my book. Being a self-publisher meant I could get my book out in months not years, and I’d control the price. I want my books to be inexpensive and as accessible as possible.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Yes, it takes longer than you think. If I had to do it over again, I would have given myself twice as long for editing, then started working on the sequel while that was going on. I would have had to stretch out my timeframe and personal deadlines accordingly.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

I did the dance of joy. Mostly in my head, I was at a supermarket. But honestly, getting on Amazon is only the beginning—marketing a book is much more challenging! Knowing this, I didn’t allow myself to get very excited.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

The sequel to The Rage will likely be next, hopefully in six months but I won’t have a firm date for weeks. I’m taking the characters into the arena of human trafficking in America, and I’ll touch on the issue of homosexuality and Christian faith, both current and relevant issues. I’m also working on an allegorical fantasy about a vagrant who helps a prince, and a satire about my experiences working security in Afghanistan.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

The world needs hope! There are so many people who are depressed and defeated. It’s a heart-wrenching experience to learn of a good friend committing suicide when no one even realized they were depressed. And the economy makes it worse. After I was fired in 2007, I had thoughts of suicide in my depression, and even being laid off can have that effect. People need to know that they are okay no matter how bad they or their circumstances get, and that’s what my book is about.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

No one is beyond redemption, and no matter how far you strayed, no matter how much you knew better, no matter how much you’ve cozied up to the devil, the redemption of Christ is always there. This message goes both ways—I think Christians need to look at people in this way because too often we judge first instead of accepting and loving people. A person’s actions don’t indicate how much God loves them, so we need to get around what people do and see their heart and their hurts. And we all need to acknowledge that everyone struggles and needs help, and no one is righteous.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you! And yes: Be blessed! Everyone, every day, and in every way.
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